A member of Thames Valley Police's roads policing team has been sharing his experiences of the role.

Owen Swain, who started his journey as a special constable with Thames Valley Police 13 years ago, now fulfils the role of special sergeant for the force's roads policing team.

His unit operates jointly with Hampshire Constabulary as part of a Joint Operations Unit.

Reflecting on his years of service, Mr Swain revealed that he was initially drawn to the force due to a desire to serve the public and protect his community.

Witney Gazette: Owen SwainOwen Swain (Image: Thames Valley Police)

A failed eye test cut short his initial plans of enlisting straight from school.

However, after a routine procedure, he was able to correct his sight and renew his ambitions in policing.

As a volunteer-run organisation, the special constabulary allows members of the community to play an active role in maintaining safety and order, often balancing their commitment to the force with their day jobs.

Mr Swain said: "I work in IT – its telecoms, but it’s gone from the days of whirly, clunky stuff to everything going through a big computer now.

"I look after a whole team of engineers.

"I think it’s a bit of an escape from the world of being locked in dark rooms. So it’s a way of getting out."

Mr Swain continued: "I was a constable when I started ‘on shift’.

"After two years I became a sergeant and I was looking after 30 plus specials at that point.

"There’s a process you have to go through and it’s actually quite a tough process."

As part of the roads policing team, Mr Swain finds himself in the position of managing traffic, responding to accidents, securing scenes, and administering welfare checks.

He said: "Dealing with the aftermath [of accidents], as a department, we’re excellent for it.

"People look out for each other. They always have, and they always will do.

"There is a process in place now, and your manager will check up on you. There is a lot of welfare in place – I know where to access it if I need it.

"But I’ve got a good family as well, they support me a lot."

Mr Swain added: "My kids are very proud. My son would have only been one, and my daughter hadn’t been born by the time of my attestation, so all they’ve ever known is me being a special."

Interested parties can learn more about becoming a special constable on the Thames Valley Police website.